Outcomes of coordinated and integrated interventions targeting frail elderly people: a systematic review of randomised controlled trials
The aim of this study was to review randomised controlled trials on integrated and coordinated interventions targeting frail elderly people living in the community, their outcome measurements and their effects on the client, the caregiver and healthcare utilisation. A literature search of PubMed, AgeLine, Cinahl and AMED was carried out with the following inclusion criteria: original article; integrated intervention including case management or equivalent coordinated organisation; frail elderly people living in the community; randomised controlled trials; in the English language, and published in refereed journals between 1997 and July 2007. The final review included nine articles, each describing one original integrated intervention study. Of these, one was from Italy, three from the USA and five from Canada. Seven studies reported at least one outcome measurement significantly in favour of the intervention, one reported no difference and one was in favour of the control. Five of the studies reported at least one outcome on client level in favour of the intervention. Only two studies reported caregiver outcomes, both in favour of the intervention for caregiver satisfaction, but with no effect on caregiver burden. Outcomes focusing on healthcare utilisation were significantly in favour of the intervention in five of the studies. Five of the studies used outcome measurements with unclear psychometric properties and four used disease-specific measurements. This review provides some evidence that integrated and coordinated care is beneficial for the population of frail elderly people and reduces health care utilisation. There is a lack of knowledge about how integrated and coordinated care affects the caregiver. This review pinpoints the importance of using valid outcome measurements and describing both the content and implementation of the intervention.